Remember when people were in awe of the Apple iPhone and the other smartphones that followed its lead?
After nine years or so and about 1 billion iPhones sold, no one gets that excited anymore.
What affection there is for the iPhone and Apple — which looks to the handsets for about two dollars out of every three in revenue and even a greater share of profits — lingers below the surface. It doesn't necessarily show up on a balance sheet.
Apple on Tuesday reported a 27 percent drop in quarterly profit, thanks in no small part to slumping iPhone sales, as new models fail to impress and owners are slower to upgrade older phones.
The company's share price...